The changing nature of academic deanship

Harry de Boer, Leo Goedegebuure

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    43 Citations (Scopus)


    The university as an organization is changing, incorporating elements of private sector management in an academic setting. In these transforming universities middle management has changed as well. In this contribution changes in the role and position of the academic deanship are analysed in more detail. On the basis of a literature review, a description of the deanship is provided, including the main challenges this position entails. It is argued that the deanship has become more demanding, more senior, more strategic, more complex and more managerial in nature, though within the overall context of academe. We illustrate both the complexity and changing nature of the deanship by drawing on two empirical studies. Since research on middle management in universities is still rather thin, more research is welcome. Therefore we conclude with some suggestions for further research to enhance our understanding of what we see as a key management position within today's universities.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)347-364
    JournalLeadership (UK)
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


    • Academic deanship
    • Changes in higher education
    • Higher education leader ship and management
    • Middle management


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